The coronavirus pandemic has forced the postponement or cancellation of various major sports events across the world. Amongst them is the much-awaited cricketing mega-event the Indian Premier League (IPL), the tournament was scheduled to begin from March 29 but was pushed back to April 15 amid the lockdown. Later the lockdown got further extended and the IPL got indefinitely postponed without any confirmation about the future date.
As the cricketing world has come to a standstill, many prominent cricketers across the world are interacting with their fans and followers via social media platforms. Recently, India skipper Virat Kohli and former Proteas batsman AB De Villiers interacted with each other and their fans on an Instagram Live session. As many know, Virat and AB play together for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) side during the IPL. The two not only share a good partnership on-field but are also great mates off the field.
During the Instagram Live session, they both urged their fans and followers to stay positive during this tough time and they also promised to do their bit to help people overcome the adversity they are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For the unversed, AB De Villiers and Virat Kohli helped RCB to reach a total score of 248 in an IPL 2016 game against the Gujrat Lions and broke their own record for the then-highest partnership in T20 cricket as they put on 229 runs together.
Recalling their old fond memories, ABD said, “In 2016 IPL match against Gujarat Lions, we both scored centuries, it was a good partnership, it was an enjoyable one, I got 120 odd and you got your hundred towards the end, it was the Green game, we did our bit for creating awareness about the environment.”
De Villiers further, “The plan now is to get our kits to go for an online auction, the green kits would go for auction, people can go and bid and all the proceeds will go the COVID-19 fund and it is a cause which will provide food to the maximum number of people.”
Further in the interaction, Virat got very emotional about RCB and thanked the fans for supporting the team despite the ups and downs. He described the experience of playing for RCB as surreal and also promised to not play any other team in the IPL. In his statement, the India skipper said, “No matter what happens, I’m never leaving RCB.”
Fun fact, Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers have been associated with the RCB franchise since 2011.
Making the interaction more fun, Virat and ABD then picked their ODI team comprising of India and South Africa players from recent times.
They picked Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Yuzvendra Chahal, Dale Steyn, Jasprit Bumrah, Kagiso Rabada.
MS Dhoni was chosen as the skipper and Gary Kristen was made the head coach of this dream team.
Before signing off from their Live Session, Virat and ABD described their friendship in one word that is ‘timeless’ and said that their friendship is based on trust and respect.